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Category Archive for: ‘Competition’

  • Drug companies re-patenting old drugs to extend price monopolies

    Drug re-patenting is making waves in the pharmaceutical market. This practice allows drug manufacturers to continue enjoying a sales monopoly while dramatically reducing research and development costs. In the 1980s, the European Patent Office (EPO) passed patent laws to protect new uses of known drugs. …

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  • Pending Circuit Court Case Could Accelerate Availability of Some Biosimilars

    Pending in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in northern California is a case involving an effort to bring a biosimilar drug to market without making use of the “biosimilars pathway” included in the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA).  Depending on …

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  • Games Drug Companies Play to Keep Drug Prices High

    Just recently, we ran across two new examples of pharmaceutical manufacturers acting counter to the interests of patients and payers.  In one case, the manufacturer of a drug losing patent protection next year decided to turn off supply of the patented drug in order to …

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  • Federal Trade Commission Weighs in on PBM Compensation Disclosure

    As we noted in an earlier piece, the ERISA Advisory Council this year is studying the issue of whether pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) should be required to make compensation and fee disclosures to employee health plan sponsors.  On June 19, 2014, the Advisory Council held the first of …

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  • Corporate Inversions and the Prescription Drug World

    There has been a lot of news lately about increased use of a tax-saving transaction known as a “corporate inversion.”  Among the parties that have recently discussed these transactions are several U.S. pharmaceutical companies and drugstore chain Walgreens. In an inversion, a U.S. company acquires …

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  • CBO Confirms Competition Works to Reduce Medicare Part D Costs

    The Congressional Budget Office has just released a new report, “Competition and the Cost of Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program,” that details how the Medicare Part D program has successfully harnessed competitive forces to bring down prescription drug costs. First some really encouraging news.  According to …

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  • Specialty Drugs to Skyrocket Medicare Part D Costs

    The 2014 Medicare Trustees Report has just been released, and its projections for Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit costs are sobering. First the good news.  Medicare Part D expenditures for 2013 came in lower than previously projected.  Actual Part D benefit payments of $69.3 …

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  • The MODDERN Cures Act – Part 1

    In September 2013, U.S. Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ) introduced the MODDERN Cures Act (Modernizing Our Drug and Diagnostics Evaluation and Regulatory Network Cures Act of 2013 – H.R. 3116). In a strong show of bipartisan support, this bill recently had 64 co-sponsors who span both …

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  • Merck Stung by Court Ruling on Co-Pay Coupons

    We have written previously about how name brand pharmaceutical companies offer co-pay coupons as a way of getting around health plan formulary incentives for members to choose less-expensive, but equally effective prescription medications.  In a recent development, the Federal District Court in New Jersey has ruled that …

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  • Sovaldi: A Poster Child for Predatory Pricing

    In a previous post, we discussed how patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections will benefit from Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) – one of a new class of blockbuster HCV drugs. It was reported that 95% of patients were cured by this drug during a 12-week …

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